When women don’t act like men they often get dismissed by men as defective or delusional. Men in the faith community often match or exceed their secular male counterparts in this process. This is not a new phenomenon. The Old and New Testaments provide plenty of examples.
Eli the High Priest came upon Hannah praying in the Lord’s House. She was pouring her heart out to God with fervor and anguish. Eli accused her of being drunk and told her to put away her wine. (I Samuel 1)
Mary and her friends witnessed the empty tomb, conversed with two angels and brought this good news to the disciples. The Disciples rejected their report and called their words, “nonsense” (Luke 24)
Rhoda was a female servant who answered a knock at the door and was surprised to discover Peter on the porch. The men leading the prayer meeting were quick to conclude that she was “ out of her mind.” (Acts 12)
I don’t want to be too hard on these men of old, but they had blind spots we cannot afford. God was moving in and through these women who were dismissed as drunk, confused and crazy by the men in their lives and communities. Our daughters need us to be Real Men, not just Good Old Boys.
Jesus offers a radical alternative to this dismissive style.
He engaged a thirsty and lonely woman who was leery of men and the promises they make. Five failed marriages had left her with little hope of ever finding lasting satisfaction. Jesus offered her Living Water, a free gift to a thirsty soul.
He stopped a procession to hear the whole story of a hurting woman. He listened to her12 year journey of heartache, suffering and disappointment. He seemed to think that listening was more important than lecturing.
He stepped between a woman caught in adultery and the mob ready to reign down stones and judgment on her. His words dismissed the mob not the woman. He protected her, accepted her and then corrected her.
He disrupted a dinner party given in his honor, to honor the gift of tears and perfume brought by a career prostitute. He released her from her past, declared her forgiven, and placed his blessing and covering over her future.
Let’s love women the way Jesus loves women. How about starting with our daughters? How about starting today?
Grace and Peace
Dr. Don Worcester
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